Documenting the Coming Singularity

Friday, July 03, 2009

Simulated Beginnings - Toy Universe

Editor's note: The idea that we are living within a computer simulation, although not new, is intriguing. Could this be how such a thing begins? - July 2, 2009, by Leslie Mullen

The power of computer processing could one day solve the riddle of life's origin.

Scientists think life appeared about 4 billion years ago, and ancient rocks on Earth can give us some idea of what the environment was like. Life may have originated in an ocean rich in chemicals. This primordial soup may have been simmering, or it may have been zapped by lightning. Certainly energy of some sort must have helped drive a simple chemical system into a more complex state. But the clues are few, and the picture remains hazy.

Enter the Evogrid, a computer creation concept that would be a digital version of the primordial soup. The EvoGrid was dreamed up by a group of international advisors and Bruce Damer, the founder of a research company that creates 3-D spacecraft and mission simulations for NASA and the space community. Damer and his chief architect, Peter Newman, are developing the EvoGrid concept by adapting GROMACS, a powerful open source molecular dynamics simulator originally developed at The University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

Each virtual particle within the Evogrid's simulated liquid soup will have particular physical properties, and will behave accordingly.

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